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Mayoral candidate Weldon Hurt shares his experiences as a council member and predicts if he is elected

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In this week’s edition of Big Country Politics, Chief Information Officer Manny Diaz sat down with mayoral candidate Weldon Hurt. Hurt currently sits on the City Council at Place 4 and is the owner of Pest Patrol.

Hurt has served on council for almost two terms now, which has given him insight into how the city works.

“I learned how the city works, how budgets work, how to get deals, things like that. How our charter works in municipal government,” Hurt said.

He pointed out that people will say they will support a balanced budget for the city, however, he said it comes with the work to start with.

“Budgets are a big issue… People will say, you know, the first thing I want to do is balance the budget. Well, by law, the city has to have a balanced budget,” Hurt explained.

Hurt was the first to pitch his name in the mayoral race and is running against Dasi Reddy, Chad Clark and Ryan Goodwin. In previous elections, Hurt has never opposed, but thinks it is healthier to oppose. He said his previous experience set him apart from other applicants.

“I appreciate anyone who’s willing to give their time to serve in that capacity…I think having raced makes it a little healthier because we do that, we talk a lot more about different problems,” Hurt said. “I believe the experience I have on the board and knowing how our government works, how the charter is written and how to follow those laws. I think it gives me a head start in running for mayor because I have that experience.

Hurt shared that he’s been enjoying the race so far and meeting the community throughout his campaign.

“It was exciting, I won’t deny it… We have a lot more conversations, a lot more people want to be involved in the conversations,” Hurt said. “When you’re not opposed, no one really wants to talk to you… well, that’s always important, issues are always important, it’s good to have those conversations.”

Hurt tried to run a positive campaign and strive to look at the good things they were able to do.

“Anything you do, you can always do better, but I want to build on the positive,” Hurt said.

With help from the Abilene Development Corporation, current Mayor Anthony Williams has advocated bringing big business to the key city, which Hurt wants to continue. He shared that the DCOA has done a great job in selecting the industries best suited for Abilene and planning.

“The DCOA did a great job…definitely just want to stay away. I love working closely with them and the ideas they bring,” Hurt explained. “Always look at strategies with the DCOA not only to bring a business, but which businesses will work best for Abilene and the great country.”

Hurt added that he thinks the city council will focus on land and development, not just for commercial sale, but also for new homes around Abilene.

“We would like to look at some of these older areas of the city, encourage builders and maybe give some incentives to get affordable single-family homes built in some of these older areas,” Hurt explained. “We just need to encourage new housing, affordable housing in these areas.”

It’s also looking to upgrade older homes, possibly with grants, to fix things like porches or address security risks. Infrastructure is something that has been talked about a lot throughout this election, especially road improvements.

“Everyone is talking about the street. You know, since we introduced the street maintenance fee, we’ve gone from $750,000 a year to $9 million to $12 million a year. We touched the surface of almost 25% of our streets in that four to five year period,” added Hurt. “I think the street maintenance fees are doing their job.”

However, he added that this leaves about 75% of the streets intact with a path to walk.

“I think just driving around town you see a lot more streets that are repaired. That doesn’t mean we’re close…I get that,” Hurt explained. “But I think we are now attacking those in a way that has been overlooked and in a way that is not such a tax burden.”

Throughout the race, Hurt faced people who were critical of him, including contestants from other races. He shared that if elected alongside these candidates, he will work with them as communication is key.

“If I’m elected and they’re elected, it’s done, we have to work together. Shouting and shouting and calling names, I’m just not going to get into that, I’m just going to do my best,” Hurt said. “But, to do anything, we have to communicate and we have to talk, we have to make things right.”

To learn more about Hurt, he has a Facebook page and his number is (325) 439-0915 for those who would like to get in touch.


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